A J-1 and/or J-2 exchange visitor is subject to the two-year home-country physical presence (foreign residence) requirement requirement based on Section 212(e) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended, and Title 22 Part 40 and Part 41 in the Code of Federal Regulations, if one or more of the following conditions exist:
If the principal J-1 exchange visitor is subject to the two-year residence requirement, all dependents that enter in J-2 status are subject to it as well. The requirement should be marked on both the J visa and DS-2019. Additional information about the Exchange Visitor's Skills list is available online.
Requesting an Advisory Opinion, if you are not sure that INA 212(e) applies to you.
If you are not sure whether the INA 212(e) two-year foreign residence applies to you, you may make a written request for an advisory opinion for the applicability of INA 212(e) to your situation. The advisory opinion request should include legible copies of every/all DS-2019/IAP-66 ever issued to you, along with a self-addressed envelope, and should be sent to:
INA 212(e) Advisory Opinion Request
The Waiver Review Division, CA/VO/L/W
U.S. State Department
2401 E Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20522-0106
To learn more, please see J-1 Waiver FAQs.
Impact of 212 (e) Two Year Home Residency Requirement
If an exchange visitor is subject to the two-year home residence requirement, s/he must reside and be physically present in her/his country of nationality or last legal permanent residence for an aggregate of at least two years following departure from the United States before being eligible to apply for an immigrant visa or permanent residence, a nonimmigrant H visa as a temporary worker or trainee, or a nonimmigrant L visa as an intracompany transferee, or a nonimmigrant H or L visa as the spouse or minor child of a person who is a temporary worker or trainee or an intracompany transferee.
J Waiver of 212 (e) Two Year Home Residency Requirement
Program participants who are subject to the two-year home-country physical presence requirement, as established by Section 212(e) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, must apply for a waiver of that requirement if they seek to remain in the United States beyond the end date of their programs or if they seek to submit an application to the Immigration and Naturalization Service for a change in visa status.
A waiver may be requested for five statutory bases:
Impact of Waiver of 212 (e) Two Year Home Residency Requirement
Once an exchange visitor program received notification of the Department of State recommendation for a waiver, the exchange visitor is no longer eligible for further extension of stay (this includes extensions for academic training and transfers to new J programs) or reinstatement to valid program status.